Looking On The Positive Side, Ben Arfa Back Soon

Newcastle at least played with a lot more spirit and commitment yesterday than they did two years ago in also losing 1-0 to Aston Villa.

Shola Ameobi – pulled out with swollen knee

The disappointing thing yesterday is that Newcastle looked a poor side, and to us, just never looked like scoring, with absolutely no penetration up front.

Newcastle did have Ben Arfa, Gosling, Ireland, Tiote, Nolan, Ameobi, Best, Smith and Perch missing from yesterday’s squad for one reason or another, and for a squad as small as Newcastle’s, that’s a lot of good players to be missing.

And it showed, as Newcastle had a hard job making up their bench with four teenagers on it, and it seemed after the game that manager Alan Pardew tried to make the best of things, as he said:

“We gave a committed effort against a nervous Aston Villa but we would have liked to have been better,” “Our final pass and quality at set-plays could have been a whole lot better.”“I thought we started brightly. In that period we had a couple of big chances around the box where we should have capitalized.” “In the last third of the game I knew it would get nervous.”

“We managed to create some pressure but not enough really.” “We wanted our best players on the pitch, and that’s why we went the way we did.”  “We’ve got Manchester United next and we’re going to look forward to that.”

“We’re the same as everyone else, we’d like to have 41, 42 points to feel a little bit more comfortable.”  “In terms of the other results it’s been a decent weekend, putting big, big pressure on that bottom three.”

Trying to look positively at things in the future, which is always difficult after a poor performance and an even worse result, Frenchman Ben Arfa is not too far away from being available.

Pardew had marked down  May 1st at Liverpool, as possibly being the game Ben Arfa could return to the squad for, and it looks like Pardew will need to play the 24 year-old up front as a striker.

We say that because Newcastle are fast running out of strikers, with Ameobi pulling out at the last minute with a knee problem (oh no!), and Newcastle having to start 19 year-old Nile Ranger in his place. Leon Best is out for season with his ankle problem, and had an operation on it last Friday,  in London.

Ranger was OK in the first half but he disappeared in that second half, and we thought Shefki Kuqi should have been brought on after about  60 minutes, rather than 7 minutes from time.

Newcastle looked more threatening when Ryan Taylor and Kuqi were in the side, and why Pardew didn’t start Ryan Taylor on the right wing and Joey Barton in central midfield we have no idea, but that would have been a better starting side surely.

As it was, Pardew disrupted the back four by bringing in Steven Taylor, and he played Guthrie in attacking midfield, after the 23 year-old had played so well in defensive midfield last Saturday, and Coloccini came in and looked just too slow in defensive midfield. Too many unnecessary changes were made yesterday.

Apart from that it was a great team selection. 😀

Newcastle have to do a lot better against Manchester United, and we hope they can do just that, and the situation at present is nothing that a win next time out wouldn’t fix – immediately.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • ToonAndy

    Apr 11, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #1

    Come on Arfa, ohh I swear on my knees that your comeback, will mean everythingg, you are the best, we don’t care for the rest, oh Ben Arfa, you mean everythinggg!

  • Kazenga89

    Apr 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #2

    i hoped we wouldn’t see ben arfa back until next year, for his own good. but now i find myself couting down the days until he returns. just need to keep hold of our main players this summer, otherwise we are looking straight down the barrel of a relegation battle, and if yesterday was anything to go by, we will be going down. Just need a few players in and keep our main squad. I also hope this time they do it at the start of the transfer window, dont leave it too late…

  • john DSOUZA

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #3

    We need arfa back as soon as possible.

  • john DSOUZA

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #4

    For da game against MAN U





  • Kazenga89

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #5


    Benny wont be back for united game, so thats out. think i would go more for this, and nolan is still suspended:


    danny – saylor – colo – jose

    Raylor – joey – toto – jonas

    Ireland (if fit)

    Strolla (if fit)

    if strolla and ireland arnt fit then:

    Loven & Kuqi

  • boater

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #6


    yo hear ma flow, it aint fo no sho’, I is da gangsta from benwell, got ma biches in da bak bro.

    (then a blonde girl with 1 gcse sings the chorus)

    Gonna be da amaaazing gangsta innit

  • aaronjd

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Lmfao @boater. I rarely post on here, just read! But that was worth logging in for and laughing. Brilliant mate!

  • Dyer8

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #8

    vs Man U

    Simmo – Saylor – Collo – Enrique
    Ireland- Barton – Tiote – Jonas
    Loven – Ameobi

  • boater

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #9

    Aaron – thanks bro. Couldn’t ha dun it wivat ma crew, ya git me?

  • tiotal football

    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #10

    surely Williamson should play ahead of Taylor vs Man Utd

    Also didn’t think Ireland liked to play on the wing so wouldn’t be surprised if him and Barton swapped.

  • dave_barron363

    Apr 11, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #11

    I agree with tiotal, i am nervous everytime the ball comes into the box when Saylor is playing centre back. Willo has been one of our most consistent performers of the season apart from the Bolton game!

    I would go with


    Simmo-Willo- Collo-Fergie (Enrique’s head doesnt seem to be there)


    Loven – Ameobi

  • geoff777

    Apr 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #12

    It’s worrying that Pardew came up with Sunday’s formation and thought that was his best team on the day.

    Ranger did disappear 2nd half and as Ed says he should have been replaced a lot earlier than he was.

    I too thought Raylor would start and Barton would go central. It had more balance and less disruptive.

    I liked another more attacking formation of Ferguson on the left wing and Jonas on the right again Barton goes central.

    But breaking up a back four, playing a centre back in midfield, moving Guthrie forward was crazy. Too many changes in role & position.

    Think he’d have learnt from his mistakes by now …

  • aaronjd

    Apr 11, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Haha No bother. I will be PUA BUZZIN when ben arfa returns. INIT!

  • Brutooon

    Apr 12, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Comment #14

    For ManYoo game:

    Raylor (Right)

    Barton-Tiote (Middle)

    Gutierrez (Left)

    Maybe Ireland supporting Ameobi


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